King Fahd International Airport

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King Fahd International Airport
Dammam Airport
مطار الملك فهد الدولي
KFIA Logo.gif
King Fahd International Airport, Satellite.jpg
Satellite view of OEDF airport
IATA: DMMICAO: OEDF
DMM is located in Saudi Arabia
DMM
DMM
Location of airport in Saudi Arabia
Summary
Airport type Public
Operator General Authority of Civil Aviation
Serves Eastern Province[1]
Location Dammam, Saudi Arabia
Opened 28 November 1999; 14 years ago (1999-11-28)
Hub for Saudia
Elevation AMSL 72 ft / 22 m
Coordinates 26°28′16″N 049°47′52″E / 26.47111°N 49.79778°E / 26.47111; 49.79778Coordinates: 26°28′16″N 049°47′52″E / 26.47111°N 49.79778°E / 26.47111; 49.79778
Website www.kfia.com.sa
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
16R/34L 13,124 4,000 Asphalt
16L/34R 13,124 4,000 Asphalt
Statistics (2013)
Passengers 7,000,000
Cargo (tons) 118,343
Aircraft movements 60,994

King Fahd International Airport (KFIA) (Arabic: مطار الملك فهد الدولي‎) (IATA: DMMICAO: OEDF), is the world's largest airport in terms of land area located 20 kilometers (12 mi) northwest of Dammam, Saudi Arabia. The airport's basic infrastructure was complete by the end of 1990, which allowed the Allied forces engaged in the first Gulf War in early 1991 to use the field for the storage of military aircraft.[citation needed]KFIA was the base used by all USAF A-10s (144) during the Gulf War. It was much more than a storage area. The US Army had many units there before the start of the war. The General Authority of Civil Aviation of Saudi Arabia finally opened the new Dammam King Fahd International Airport on 28 November 1999 to commercial traffic, and all airlines transferred their operations from Dhahran International Airport, which had been in use until then. The new Dammam airport serves the entire Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia and in particular the growing urban complex made up of Dammam, Dhahran, Al Khobar, Qatif, Ras Tanura, while its catchment area also covers Jubail with total population of about 3 million served. The airport is the third major hub for Saudia, and furthermore was a hub for the now defunct Sama Airlines.

History[edit]

Design and construction[edit]

Design started in 1976. The site master plan was created by architecture firm Yamasaki & Associates and Boeing Aerosystems International, and completed in 1977.[2] Construction began in 1983, and the airport opened for commercial operations on 28 November 1999.[3]

Military Base[edit]

Location[edit]

The airport, in the Eastern Province of the country, is located between Qatif and Dammam, about 25 km (16 mi) away from Dammam. It is linked to populated areas by two major roads. The northern exit, which used to be the only one, links the airport with Qatif as a 4-lane highway. The southern exit links the Airport with Dammam as a 6-lane highway to King Fahd Road which is now considered as the main road to the airport. Abu Hadriyah Highway (Arabic: ابوحدريّة‎), serves as the airport's eastern border while the Dammam-Riyadh Highway serves as a southern border.

On the airport's southern border, Saudi Aramco occupies an area of 250 km² (97 mi²) which is used for oil drilling and transportation facilities. However, the area is being claimed by many investors in order to urbanize it for residential and commercial use which if happened will utilize that strategic location, an example would be Ghannam 4 (Airport Jewel) which is the first and only urbanization attempt that had taken place before is was stopped due to involvement in the issue of Aramco Reservations which is the reason why the airport is still far away from the city. If the issue is resolved the terminal would be as close as 10 km to the urban areas of Dammam, as opposed to 20 km now.

A Sama Airlines B737 parked at the airport, bound for Medina. View from the departure lounge of the terminal.
Inside the passenger terminal

Terminals[edit]

The terminal has six stories, three of which are allocated for passenger processing. The third level is for arrivals, the sixth level is for departures, and the fourth level is for boarding. There are two partial levels: the mezzanine service level and the mezzanine level (which is the uppermost level).

The passenger terminal’s total area is 327,000 m² (3,519,798 ft²). Approximately 247,500 m² (2,664,067 ft²) were built in the first phase, in addition to 11 fixed passenger boarding bridges serving 15 gates out of an original design capacity of 31 fixed boarding bridges. At the present time only 7 out of 11 boarding bridges can be used for international flight arrivals as the southern section of the terminal that hosts the remaining four gates is still unused making those gates unconnected to passport control and customes, however since domestic flights are entirely running from the operating northern section, all eleven boarding bridges can be used for domestic flights as well as the departures of international flights.

The terminal is equipped with several customer counters of which 66 were allocated to Saudia (now shared with Nas Air), 44 to foreign airlines and the rest for Customs and Immigration.

The largest airport in the world in terms of area[edit]

Several sources, such as the Guinness World Record[4] mention this airport as the largest in the world, with 780 square kilometers (Larger than Bahrain). The official website, however, publishes an actual utilized airport area of 3,675 hectares (9,080 acres), or 36.75 square kilometers. It does mention a total area of 77,600 hectares (192,000 acres), but that includes the whole property[5]

Passengers Waiting time[edit]

2012 average waiting times for Dammam Airport:

Check in[edit]

  • Domestic flights: 10–30 mins
  • International flights: 30–60 mins

Passport control[edit]

International departures[edit]
  • Saudis and GCC Nationals: 15-25mins
  • Other Nationals: 30-60mins
International arrivals[edit]
  • Saudis and GCC Nationals: 10-20mins
  • Other Nationals: 2hrs-6hrs

Baggage claim[edit]

  • For all flights: 20-40mins

Services and amenities[edit]

Shops and other services[edit]

King Fahd International Airport was the first among Saudi Arabia's international airports to adopt duty-free stores. In addition to the spaces allocated to duty-free stores, the airport has a separate area for shops specializing in the sale of gifts and all passenger related goods. This area includes restaurants, cafeterias, and banks, and is located on the arrivals level. The distinction is largely meaningless however as the Kingdom has no sales or import duties on any products. Recently, as part of larger marketing project named "Golden Circle", several shops and services are planned to open including indoor playgrounds and travel agencies.

Currency exchange[edit]

Several ATMs and currency exchange shops are available in the departure and arrival areas.

Multi-story car park[edit]

The airport is served by a multi-storey car park.

Smoking room[edit]

Dammam airport used to allow smoking throughout the airport, with most seats having ash trays built into the arm rest. However, on 20 June 2010, the Council of Ministers urged the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) to ban smoking at all airports and their facilities in the Kingdom on Monday. It also advised GACA to impose a fine of SR200 on people who violate the new regulations. Following the announcement, the airport opened a smoking room in the Departure area and banned smoking elsewhere in the airport.

The Mosque[edit]

The airport Mosque is built on the roof of the car park and in the middle of a landscaped area of 46,200 m² (497,292 ft²). It has an architectural design that combines modern style with the old Islamic style (arches, domes, and other Islamic decorations and carvings on the doors, Mihrab, and Mimbar). The Mosque accommodates two thousand worshipers, access to it can be easily gained from the passenger terminal through two enclosed, air-conditioned bridges equipped with moving belts, in addition to a third open bridge.

Hotel[edit]

Tendering was announced to open in late 2010 for construction of a 5-star airport hotel. According to the airport administration, the hotel will be conveniently located nearby the passenger terminal building, however nothing has been confirmed yet.

Royal terminal[edit]

The Royal Terminal is reserved for the Saudi Royal Family, government personnel, and official guests. The terminal was built on an area of 16,400 m² (176,528 ft²) and has four bridges linking the terminal and aircraft. It is luxuriously furnished and decorated, and includes extensively landscaped exteriors and grounds. Despite its specialized purpose, the terminal is rarely used by the Royal Family, who generally prefer to utilize a similar special terminal at King Abdulaziz Air Base.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Passenger[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Air Arabia Sharjah
Air Arabia Egypt Alexandria-Borg el Arab
Air India Delhi
Air India Express Kozhikode, Mangalore
Biman Bangladesh Airlines Dhaka
EgyptAir Alexandria-Borg el Arab, Cairo
Emirates Dubai-International
Ethiopian Airlines Addis Ababa
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi
flydubai Dubai-International
Felix Airways Aden, Sana'a, Ta'izz
Flynas Jeddah, Khartoum, Riyadh, Ta'if, Yanbu[6]
Gulf Air Bahrain
Iran Air Mashhad
Jet Airways Chennai,[7] Delhi, Kochi,[7] Kozhikode, Mumbai, Thiruvananthapuram, Kolkata
KLM Amsterdam, Kuwait
Kuwait Airways Kuwait
Lufthansa
operated by PrivatAir
Frankfurt
Mahan Air Mashhad, Tehran-Imam Khomeini
Seasonal: Isfahan
Middle East Airlines Beirut
Oman Air Muscat
Pakistan International Airlines Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Sialkot
Philippine Airlines Manila[8]
Qatar Airways Doha
Royal Jordanian Amman-Queen Alia
Saudia Abha, Al Baha, Beirut, Cairo, Chennai, Delhi, Dhaka, Dubai-International, Gassim, Ha'il, Hyderabad, Islamabad, Istanbul-Atatürk,[9] Jizan, Jeddah, Karachi, Kochi, Kozhikode, Lucknow, Medina, Manila, Mashhad, Mumbai, Najran, Riyadh, Tabuk, Ta'if
Seasonal: Casablanca
Shaheen Air Islamabad, Lahore
SriLankan Airlines Colombo
Turkish Airlines Istanbul-Atatürk

Cargo[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Air France Cargo Dubai, Hong Kong, Mumbai
Cargo Garuda Indonesia Jakarta
Cargolux Hong Kong, Luxembourg
Etihad Crystal Cargo Abu Dhabi[10]
Lufthansa Cargo Frankfurt, Sharjah
Martinair-KLM Amsterdam, Guangzhou, Nairobi-Jomo Kenyatta, Sharjah, Singapore[11]
Saudia Cargo Brussels, Dhaka, Frankfurt, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Houston-Intercontinental, Jeddah, New York-JFK, Milan-Malpensa, Riyadh, Thiruvananthapuram, Vienna

Airport infrastructure[edit]

Runways[edit]

The airport has two parallel runways with a length of 4,000 m (13,123 ft) each, in addition to taxiways parallel to the runways and a cross taxiway to connect the two runways. A distance of 2,146 m (7,041 ft) separates the two runways to facilitate simultaneous takeoff and landing operations. For more convenience and shorter taxiing durations, the east runway is usually used by Saudi Aramco while commercial airlines use the west one, however situation changes if one of the runways is undergoing maintenance. Space has been set aside for the construction of a third parallel runway.

Airport infrastructure[12] Infrastructure details for King Fahd International Airport
Aspect Details
Runways 2
Runway length 4,000 m (13,123 ft)
Runway width 60 m (197 ft)
Runway shoulders 7.5 m (25 ft) x 2
Runway paved blast pads 120 m (394 ft) x 2
Taxiway width 23 m (75 ft)
Taxiway shoulders 11 m (36 ft) x 2
Cross taxiway width 30 m (98 ft)
Cross taxiway shoulders 12 m (39 ft) x 2
Large-sized aircraft stands 12 + 8 royal terminal
Medium-sized aircraft stands 5
Small-sized aircraft stands 7
Cargo aircraft stands 3 (Large)
General aviation stands 14
Helipads 2 (1 General aviation + 1 Royal terminal)

The airport is classified as Code E by ICAO which makes it designed to accommodate large aircraft such as Boeing 747-400 and A340-600. Although it may practically be possible for A380 to use the airport it is not recommended as in order to accommodate such aircraft as Airbus A380 or Boeing 747-8 it requires the airport to be Code F. Only the runways at Dammam Airport meet Code F requirements; the taxiways and gates do not. In May 2009, an Antonov 225 the world's largest aircraft landed at Dammam Airport from Ukraine whilst transporting equipment used for oil drilling and exploration to Tanzania for Schlumberger.

A road for ground support equipment (GSE) runs along the western side of the central terminal. It is designed to allow GSE to have access to aircraft and also to facilitate the movement of baggage vehicles from aircraft to baggage areas.

Operations Services[edit]

There are ten main Operations Services areas providing facilities for the operation of the airport.

Cargo[edit]

The two-story air cargo building is constructed on an area of 39,500 m² (425,174 ft²) and has a capacity of 94,000 metric tons (103,617 tons) of incoming and outgoing cargo.

The terminal's design allows for transforming the operation system to a fully automatic system equipped with multi-level racks and a container stacking system. When the air cargo facility becomes fully automatic, its capacity will be increased to 176,000 metric tons (194,007 tons) per year.

Control Tower[edit]

The control tower stands 85.5 meters (281 feet) high, equivalent to the height of a 30-story building. The height allows visibility of all parts of the airport operations area. Its total floor area is 7,960 m² (85,681 ft²), and it contains the following three main sections:

Car parking[edit]

The total area of the car park is 176,752 m² (1,902,543 ft²), distributed among three covered floors. The parking area accommodates 4,930 cars. Cars enter the car park through a roadway that leads to the second floor. There is direct access to the passenger terminal from the parking on the first floor which lies under the access road with exits leading to the main roads. Parking charges are 2 Saudi Riyal per hour, which is a flat rate regardless how long you stay. There are no special long term parking rates.

Two open parking areas are available beside the rental car parking area to accommodate additional cars.

Saudi Aramco facilities[edit]

Saudi Aramco is responsible for supplying fuel and maintaining fuel installations. These include six large tanks with a capacity of 40,000 barrels each, in addition to pumping equipment, filters, loading stations, and the distribution valve network. Saudi Aramco operates regular flights for its personnel, which originate from Dammam to cover Haradh, Tanajib, Shaybah, Hawtah, Al Ahsa, Khurais, Riyadh, Jeddah and Yanbu, in addition to some remote pump stations, using Boeing 737 and Embraer ERJ-170LR equipment.

The General Aviation terminal on the east side of Dammam airport is being used exclusively by Saudi Aramco. In addition, an advanced fleet of fuel tankers provides fuel services to all types of commercial aircraft.

Food preparation and Catering Building[edit]

This building is a 17,287 m² (186,075 ft²), single-story in-flight catering facility, capable of producing 8,000 aircraft meals a day plus 1,000 meals for staff and 300 for the Royal Pavilion kitchen.

Nursery and landscaping[edit]

King Fahd International Airport has its own plant nursery with a total area of 215,579 square metres (2,320,470 sq ft) which encompasses three green houses and 36,400 square metres (392,000 sq ft) of green fields. The nursery supplies the airport gardens and planted areas with trees and plants.

Statistics[edit]

King Fahd International Airport consistently has over 2.5 million passengers per year and at present over 7 million passengers use the airport annually.[13]

Statistics for King Fahd International Airport (excluding general aviation)
Year Total Passengers  % International Passenger Growth Total Cargo (tons) Commercial Aircraft Movements Movements Growth
2001 2,542,000 41% 0.4% 55,088 23,312 −2.5%
2002 2,578,000 39% 1.4% 53,029 23,281 −0.1%
2003 2,613,000 40% 1.4% 48,634 23,308 0.1%
2004 2,782,000 41% 6.5% 48,065 23,778 2.0%
2005 3,013,000 40% 8.3% 49,633 24,457 2.9%
2006 3,341,000 43% 10.9% 59,610 29,162 19.2%
2007 3,841,000 41% 15.0% 66,621 39,265 34.6%
2008 3,885,000 47% 1.1% 95,862 40,776 3.9%
2009 4,149,000 48% 6.8% 82,944 41,079 0.7%
2010 4,569,000 52% 10.1% 82,865 45,512 10.8%
2011 5,267,000 56% 15.3% 82,256 50,936 11.9%
2012 6,136,000 56% 16.5% 102,826 55,825 9.6%
2013 7,000,000 57% 14.1% 118,343 60,994 9.3%

References[edit]

External links[edit]